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Update - Church Road Development

11th June 2021

Update re Church Road Development

Despite the best efforts of Otham & Downswood Parish Councils in representing residents to fight the development, we now have to accept that it will go ahead in the forthcoming months.

To that end, a meeting was requested to discuss the Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP). The meeting was hosted by Bellway Homes this week and attended by representatives from DPC/OPC/CAARA.

To help understand the process that will unfold over the next few months, we would like to share the following information with you:

·As a result of the Planning Inspector’s decision to grant the application, it seems certain that traffic lights will be installed at the junction of Deringwood Drive/Willington Street.

·A road widening scheme has been applied for (S278 of the Highways Act).

Whilst this is subject to technical approval, it has been agreed in principle.

·Church Road will be widened to 5.5 metres in parts and the Deringwood Drive/Church Road junction will be extended on both sides of the verge. A Safety audit will be carried out before the agreement is signed off.

The above works will take place prior to the commencement of site construction.

Safety/danger of the roads was stressed.

·Construction access to/from the development will be via Church Rd from Willington Street. Due to safety issues, strict instructions have been given not to use Church Road South. Employees/tradesmen to be asked not to park in and around the neighbouring properties/on local roads.

Co-ordinated deliveries to be requested to reduce congestion.

·120 Metres of hedgerow will be removed (leaving 80 metres).

·Concerns were expressed that walkers will face dangers from traffic when exiting the PROW onto Church Rd (on opposite side of the road to site). Bellway Homes to ask landowner if PROW access could be granted along the inside of the hedge. Meeting to be held with PROW/OPC/DPC/BH to look at the available options.

·Piling will be necessary on approximately 15% of the plots.

A very narrow tube will be used which does not take much driving in (this process uses a sleeve with metal tubes and concrete driven pile). Vibration will be monitored and regular checks carried out.

It was agreed that a plan will be provided showing plots that require piling. BH will then seek advice from engineers. Properties that are likely to be at risk will be identified and a structural condition survey will be carried out.

·On site hoarding. Due to the sensitive nature of the site, it was requested that BH corporate colours are not used (dark blue, white & orange). BH advised that it’s unlikely that they will be able to use the requested green/white, but this will be referred to Head Office for a decision. Hoarding/flags to be situated on prime entry points only. Remainder of site will have Heras fencing.

·Smoking areas must not be designated close to hedges or existing housing.

·Bellway Homes will be providing newsletters to residents living in the close vicinity of the works

·Correct position of site boundary/ownership adjoining Downswood, to rear of Longham Copse/Horton Downs/Foxden Drive - to be checked by Bellway Homes.

·Sewer capacity is currently being investigated. Existing capacity is too far away and too small (pipe is only 6”). It seems more likely that a connection with Woolley Road will be used. (Roads and sewers to be completed prior to building construction)

·Lighting to be located and directed not to cause undue intrusion to adjacent properties. If the lighting is not positioned correctly, BH to be contacted via the Clerk.

·It was requested that on site noise is kept to a minimum i.e. workers to be requested to be respectful and keep radios down. Site manager to be made aware of required standards: best practice.

·Dust suppression to be utilised and kept to a minimum by spraying/damping down. Roads to be regularly cleaned.

·The onsite archaeology work/preliminary S106 is close to conclusion and should be complete by w/e 11/06/2021. Some items of interest have been found.

·Both a tree and an ecology survey have already been carried out.

A bat survey was also carried out but none were found. However, this did not include the Church as work is not taking place there.

To ensure the concerns of residents are addressed, future meetings will be held with Bellway Homes. If you have issues that you would like raised on your behalf, please contact the Clerk. The next meeting is expected to take place in September

Statement issued 11.06.2021